Saturday, 30 April 2011

Being Creative

I recently came across Julia Crossland's colourfully creative blog and her positive posts, I love the fact that when reading her blog I have to slow down and think - it sends my mind pinging off in lots of different directions.
The being creative concept completely captivated me and I have really enjoyed mulling over the months theme and producing my contribution.. (initially I mis-read the theme and started thoughts on desert landscapes!!)

I had a rough drawing in my sketch book which had never made it to the wool and needlefelt stage, although was based on a card I make quite often... and I thought it was ideal for dessert...

I really enjoyed making the topping, I took a large tuft of white merino then smaller ones of pink shetland and yellow merino, a few sprigs of angelina, and a pinch of purple,pinky throwsters waste. I made a white merino layered sandwich and kept pulling and restacking until the fibres were mixed into a high pile of fluff! 
I then sort of wound some of it into a sausage and began to fix it to the base. I loved the way it then took shape, its loosely felted and all bumpy!

I have enough topping to make another.. and I certainly will..there are loads of possibilities, including adding some silk into the ingredients or some sprinkles in top!

I've really enjoyed my first month being creative and am already planning the next topic!
Thank you Julia for the inspiration and encouragement and for enabling me to give myself the opportunity to be creative just for fun!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Poetry of Drawing

This post is going to be a bit different....and maybe one of a few, in time...
you will have to click to see the pictures.. it'll be like rounding the corner in an peaceful art gallery and discovering a new wonder....

I have very eclectic tastes in art, music, reading, tv.....but I have a passion for the Pre-Raphaelites, and am very fortunate that it can be fuelled at regular intervals as Birmingham has the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world.  
Its great to pop into Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery when I am in town to see lots of the real thing...and they have a fantastic on-line resource  to dip into anytime!

Last week we went to see The Poetry of Drawing..  a magnificent exhibition of drawings, sketchbooks, some paintings, cartoons and textiles from many of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, associates and those influenced by them.

It is so difficult to single out particular images but with all the spring flowers and nests in blogland I was immediately drawn to and moved by this intricate and delicate beauty,  almost photographic......
and this feather  you could almost feel tickling you!

A William Morris daisy tile design looked so freely drawn by a perfect hand and eye.
We gazed for ages at a sketchbook by William de Morgan with some fabulous doodles and designs.

This is just a fraction of the delicate beauty of the drawings and poetic subject matter...
however there were some humourous moments..

Hope you are able to explore and click around the sites to find your own hidden gems

Until my next vsit..I'll be...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Chirpy Charlie Chick!

I wanted Charlie to have his own post... he has had to wait til today....I often save the best til without further ado I introduce to you Charlie the chirpy cheerful chick:

He's a bit shy I'll see if we can get a bit closer....

....and closer still....

Charlie started life like the other a wet felted ball. 
I am really grateful to  Jamie Lewis
for sharing his technique one freezing  Friday in February at a Craftspace event, so that I could take my needlefelting onto 3d shapes. 
However Charlie is extra special as he was designed, photographed, named and mostly made by Random Wooliness Junior!
One night..probably trying to delay his bedtime..he took an interest in my needlefelting and had a stab! To encourage him to get to bed I suggested he could create his own chick the next day... which he did and here he is up even closer!
I'm really proud of his first needlefelting...he had definite design ideas and had a good go...with a bit of adult supervision to finish off! When my health and safety alarm bells rang he had even worked out that the sponge was too thick for him to stab his leg if he pushed the needle right in....
My sketch book also has some of his cool ideas in there may be more from Random Wooliness Junior in the future!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Happy Easter!!

Remember these?

With some yellow and red Teeswater curls they have been transformed into these:

Give us a twirl!

...and shake your tail feathers!

Before hopping off to their new homes they had an trip into the garden!

Happy Easter Everyone! 
Ali x

Friday, 22 April 2011


I love making little nesty bowly things!  I had been itching to make one with this amazingly fluffy blended silk and merino, Falling leaves from Wheeldale Woolcrafts here it is:

...bottoms up!

and full up:

On the subject of nests.......

these won't be hanging around long.....

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Peaceful Family Day

After (and before) some busy but enjoyable days we have had a family day at home....we have played in the sunny garden; been gripped, thrilled and heartbroken again by Harry Potter (and the Deathly Hallows Part 1); and laughed heartily together whilst introducing our son to the delights of The Two Ronnies!
We also made this bouncy ball from a kit ...I couldn't help photographing it glistening in the sun as it dried....its a good bouncer too!!
Happy Holidays ;-)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easter's approaching!

Sorry about the delay blogging... we've been away... and I've been engulfed in a book! 
Crafty things have been having a break too...'s a hatched project!
These little chicks were needle felted onto some thick felt eggs spotted by my mum in a garden centre. The lovely fluffy yellow wool is Teeswater fleece....each chap or chapess is completely unique as the curls behaved differently for each one! The bottom pink one has red Teeswater legs too!

Monday, 11 April 2011

TV knitwear!

As you know I like to give home made gifts to my friends and family...but the males sometimes prove a little tricky, and usually their only handmade item is a card. 
I had a flash of inspiration for my husband's birthday card.....we have been completely engrossed in 'The Killing' the recently concluded subtitled Danish Detective was amazing, the best programme we have watched for a considerable time!
The female detective, whilst brilliant at her job, had only two items of upper body clothing...a white-with-brown-pattern-knitted-nordic jumper... and a brown-with-white-pattern-knitted-nordic jumper.
From a small picture in the Radio Times I have tried to recreate one of the patterns seen so regularly during the 20 episodes!
It is needledelted with spun St Kilda yarn given to me by a friend who spun it! It felted so well with very few punctures needed from a coarse needle. The texture of the pattern recreates what I imagine the jumper felt like...I presume it is what kept Detective Sarah Lund awake during the long nights of the investigation!

As my husband likes neat edges I have put a border round it!!
Happy Birthday!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Eggclectic mixture!

Its been a busy week trying to get some projects completed before the Easter holidays start....

These eggs look a bit large....perhaps they belong to a  chocolate cuckoo!

I have finally had a chance to try some medium sized wet felted balls! Having been shown how to do it a few months ago I've been itching to have a go....its my  very first go at any wet felting... and I am pleased with my quirky results:

I know what I'll be doing with them...and the bumps, cracks and wibbly bits will hopefully add to their character....
Hope the sunnny weather continues ....happy weekend folks!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


This colourful butterfly fluttered by to a special someone on her birthday. 

Everytime I see the flower on my blog header I am reminded of the fab Rowan Biggy Print yarns I have in my stash...this butterfly  was needlefelted with Fiesta.
Topped off with Wensledale antennae!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Daffodil Debrief and Details!

There seems to have been a lot of Randomness and not much Wooliness over recent posts... but as there's been a lot of woolly activity going on here hopefully the next few posts will redress the balance! So without further ado....

OOh I am so excited that the idea I had (right at the bottom of the post!) came out better than I expected! I have always wanted to needlefelt a daffodil but a flat 2D one was never an option!

Then I realised I could adapt a bowl as the trumpet!
I initially needlefelted channels into the inside of the bowl as it formed and then the outside and over the top. The bowl is 3cm diameter and Nasturtium shetland from Wheeldale Woolcrafts

google has twisted my photo.....looks like a fish pond!!

 The petals of yellow merino were made with tails so that they could be needlefelted together.

Then came the seredipitous bit......when I placed the trumpet onto the petals there was a surplus ring of petal base wool before the petals began....but as I stabbed away to attatch the bowl to the petals the whole flower began taking a 3d shape and the surplus disappeared!

I patched over the  holes left by the coarser needles on the back of the flower and finished off with a yellow Teeswater stamen.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Happy Mum!

I have had a fantastic Mothering Sunday, Mum really liked her flowery gift and card and my son has been super creative!

He chose these beautiful blooms with his dad yesterday.
We have always made cards at home for each other and he made another fab comic one with his own illustrations. It is lovely to see his humour and drawing skills developing year by year. 
He has spent some time this week at 2 friends houses and made something at each!

This is the most amazing chocolate cake, complete with chocolate hearts, sprinkles and edible smells delicious and tastes fabulous! Huge Thanks to his friend who helped to make it and her wonderful mum who put it in and out of the oven!!

 This beautiful glass heart has been shining brightly in the window all day (even though we have had big grey cloudy moments!) and has cast purpley shadows across the lounge. Massive Thanks to his friend and his super creative family for giving our chap his first opportunity at glass making, he really enjoyed it.

I am really proud of our son and his great friends (and very helpful and generous mums!)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Happy Mothering Sunday Mum!

This crocus was always destined to be a Mothering Sunday card!
I am proud to have a creative mum, 
from whom I have learned many creative things, and  receive much encouragement
Thanks Mum!

For my mum: a needlefelted Daffodil....(debrief and details in another post!!)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Blooming beautiful!

There have been lots of special occasions for present creating  giving and receiving recently...

 My friend gave me these beautiful blooms as an early Easter present...they are so colourful and smell fabulous. Every day they look different...and the colours look much more vibrant than I can capture on camera.

I gave the same friend this little collection for her birthday...I have been brave enough to use some of the photos of my creations on cards. 

The flowers have been appearing as pressies  for a while.... I am saving them for another post!

The wool on the mug cozy might be familiar to a certain blog reader!

 I am pleased to say that an idea I have had has worked.........shhhh.......Mothering Sunday surprise!!